Being a Goth Past High School [Featured Site Content]
Oct 12, 2017, 06:39am
VampireFreaks
Many of us in the goth scene solidified our identities some time in our early teens. Personally, I was in middle school and high school when I first started listening to heavier music and wearing darker clothes. That's also when I found a group of friends who shared similar tastes. But after graduating, I found it more difficult to stay involved in the subculture. Some people even think that goth is something you're supposed to give up after a certain age. Perhaps this is why goth is "just a phase" for some people; it's no longer just as simple as finding the other kids dressed in all black and sitting with them in the cafeteria. Once you're an adult, there's more pressure to blend in and be "professional." But that doesn't mean that being goth is just for teens. Here are some of the ways that I've found of making goth part of my everyday life, even as an adult.

Work

This is often the hardest partā€”continuing to express your gothic side while working a serious job. If you work in an office, this may mean you're limited to a Corporate Goth style. The good news is, the color black is always professional! You can never go wrong with black slacks and a nice black or dark-colored shirt or blouse. I also like to throw in some black or pinstripe pencil skirts and black cardigans. Since my office is a little more casual, I can also get away with work-appropriate sun dresses in dark colors.

Social Life

Congrats, you're finally old enough to go to the goth clubs! (Many clubs are 18+, though some are 21+.) But clubbing isn't all there is to socializing as an adult goth. In fact, depending on your work schedule, dancing until the wee hours may not always be feasible. In that case, there are still plenty of spooky activities you can do with friends during the daylight hours. I like to go to macabre museums like the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, or smaller pop-up exhibits on topics like Victorian mourning fashion or the history of horror film. You can also sometimes find fun themed events or readings at your local library. Join or start a horror-themed book club. Bring a friend along or use these opportunities to meet others who share your macabre interests, but might otherwise be blending in among the professionally dressed multitude.

Travel

One of the great things about being an adult is that you'll (hopefully) finally have the money and independence required to travel. No more parents dragging you to family shore visits. Instead, plan your own morbid vacations! When on a smaller budget, I like to hop on a bus and visit spooky destinations that are not too far from me like Salem, Massachusetts. If you've got the chance to travel abroad, there are plenty of macabre destinations to choose from (or death-stinations, as my favorite Youtuber Caitlin Doughty likes to call them). I once arranged for myself a death-themed tour of Paris involving the catacombs and the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and ended the night at an absinthe bar. You can also visit elaborate ossuaries, like the Basilica of St. Ursula in Germany, Gothic churches like the Reims Cathedral in France, or famous tombs like those in Westminster Abbey.

Do you find that being goth as an adult is different from when you were a teen? How do you stay active in scene and continue to express your goth side? Let me know in the comments!


Written By: TheGothicLibrarian
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Oct 12, 2017, 06:47am
evilandwitty
Yeah it's very different but in many ways it's way easier. The only thing that CAN be tricky is work as you say, but only if you work in job roles not suited to the dark side. In web design / development, programming, the creative arts (where your ego will be expected), even digital MARKETING - you can have a GREAT work life. Just work for very exclusive boutique agencies as most large, corporate in-house stuff will numb your brain and send you insane. Might seem obvious but: DON'T devote your life to servile (service-industry, like retail) work where you are rammed in front of people 24/7. The number of times I see fellow alts who say they hate work yet who work in the least alt-centric roles humanly possible... boggles the mind. HAVE confidence. Don't accept bottom of the barrel jobs. If normies don't like those jobs, yer' gonna fuckin' hate em (period). Being a 'free spirit' and then being told what to wear, how to speak, what to be responsible for... SUCKS. Don't accept jobs that are polar opposite to your soul. Listen to your soul, it loves you.
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Oct 12, 2017, 07:39am
forestspirit99
Good article! I work from home so the dress-code is not an issue. I used to go clubbing a lot as a teenager and whist at university. Now that I'm older and I have a family, work etc. I simply don't have the time. If I'm lucky I can attend a metal or industrial concert a few times a year. Also my city hosts a Goth festival - Lumous Gothic Festival every summer so that's one easy way to stay active in the scene.
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Oct 12, 2017, 07:44am
southside
I probably express goth more with my state of mind and taste in music than I do in fashion and always have, even when I really put the effort into trying to look goth. Some people look silly as a goth and I think I'm one of them. Never nailed it.
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Oct 12, 2017, 08:37am
CoffinBait
I've been living in small rural towns my whole life with little to no goth presence, so I've always had difficulties being active in the scene since there was no scene. College was a bit easier because I just absolutely stopped caring what anyone thinks about how I look or what I like, and I was able to find a friend into just about everything I was, so at least we weren't alone. And I did manage to meet my husband my last year in school, another lone weirdo in a sea of normies.

These days, being a stay home mom, I've let the fashion slide quite a lot as I just don't have the time, energy, or motivation to bother most days. And I still live in a shitty little rural town full of small-minded hicks, so there is no way to be active in the subculture around here. It would be nice if there were cool "dark" things to do in my area outside of the month of October, but we aren't all able to enjoy the scene that way.

I've never really felt a need to work at making goth a part of my every day life because it already is. It's ingrained. It's just who I am. My husband's work schedule makes travel rare, but he and I try to catch a concert or two every year. 99% of my wardrobe is still black. It's always Halloween at my house, from spooky knick-knacks to framed horror movie posters to my witchy kitchen decor. My kid's diaper bag is covered in skulls. People at the grocery store give my husband and I strange looks when they see us with our daughter, he and I all in black, and her in a My Little Pony shirt with a skeleton hoodie. My taste in books and movies leans towards sci-fi/horror, dark fantasy, and paranormal romance. I got married with patchwork stitches drawn on my face and half the wedding party in costumes. Hell, my perkiest girlfriend decided the coolest thing she could plan for my bachelorette party was a midnight scavenger hunt in a cemetery.

Expressing it might be difficult sometimes, but that doesn't change who I am. Maybe I'm just too used to being solo, but I don't feel that it's necessary to be active in any kind of scene to just be who you are and live your life. Just do what makes you happy and enjoy it.
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Oct 12, 2017, 09:08am
TheGothicLibrarian
CoffinBait That cemetery scavenger hunt bachelorette part sounds amazing!
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Oct 12, 2017, 09:15am
FarrIL
Even working in food service, my coworkers and I were always able to express ourselves. Despite having a uniform, I was still able to wear black pants and keep my piercings in. I even got away with wearing platform boots (my argument: They made me taller, I could reach more things, they were comfy and enabled me to work long shifts. Corporate rep never won that argument, she actually started seeing my point of view).

My job now, we dont really have a dress code. I imagine the field I'm trying to get into will have a dress code, and I'll make adjustments as necessary.

That aside, being an adult, having my own place and being able to decorate it as I see fit, I think that's a huge bonus.
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Oct 12, 2017, 02:59pm
kissyfang
Greetings, darc ones:

Goth. It is the only description that fits who I am. I will be the mortal age of 48 in 2 days. Lilith is my matriarch, forever & forever, until Elysium.
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Oct 12, 2017, 05:02pm
absinthe_minded
I keep my work life and outside of work life completely separate. It sucks. I've also lived in many places that didn't have a scene for me at all. At my first job I used to wear fishnet and chains, collars and spike bracelets, but I was 18 working in a manufacturing facility, out of the public eye. In jobs where I've had to work in kitchens or with customers that wasn't an option.
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Oct 13, 2017, 12:17am
superbeast676
True goths I think stand alone in all parts of life so social norms are nullified and being frowned upon is just a part of the lifestyle of the
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Oct 13, 2017, 05:58pm
Aliciadm84
I worked at the Hard Rock Hotel and we were encouraged to be ourselves. It was an amazing place to work.
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Oct 14, 2017, 03:48am
Visionary
I wear grey or black scrubs when I'm at the hospital.. the other nurses talk about how I should wear happy colors for the patients...
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Oct 14, 2017, 04:09am
evilandwitty
"Happy colours" like blue, the DEFINITION of sorrow lmao!? That's what our doctor's wear
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Oct 14, 2017, 04:18am
Visionary
Yeah, a lot of the doctors and other staff wear dull colors to work... I will not give into the peer pressure of buying pink scrubs... :P
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Oct 14, 2017, 06:39am
RageIncarnate
Love it, although I can't even go out goth in my own country because a) there is no scene anymore so no events and b) I'm forbidden from causing a scandal by work and yes they explicitly also include private life in this. So basically I hop across the border into Germany if I want to look like my real self -.- and even then there's a slight risk. I'm for example out with two goth friends tonight but I'll have to dress normally as the risk of running into work-related people is super high *sigh* I use grey and black combos for work and sneak in my rogue and wolf and curiology jewellery etc.
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Oct 15, 2017, 09:42pm
Ash2017
In most of the jobs Ive had it's never been an issue. And seeing as for the time being I work at a Halloween store it's almost expected that Ill be dressed in my normal black clothes and make up.
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Oct 18, 2017, 12:34am
superbeast676
Blessed be
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